How to get things done — and find a job

How to get things doneA job search for many is not just a full-time job. It can be a monumental task. There are so many things that need to be done that at times it may be difficult to determine how they will all be completed.

With a little bit of planning and the use of various techniques and practices, however, you will be able to develop a way to get things done effectively and efficiently – and find the job that’s right for you.

Here are some of our favorites. The most important ones for an effective job search are the to-do list and personal kanban, and we suggest you employ those for sure. After that, pick those items from the rest of the list that you feel will be most helpful.

Create a comprehensive to-do list for your job search

Include everything that needs to be done. Take items off that list as often as necessary for your short term to-do list, and as you accomplish the tasks cross them off.

Set deadlines

As part of your to-do list create deadlines for when the tasks should be completed. These deadlines may need to be flexible, but they will give you guidelines and help to keep you on track.

Put together a to-don’t list

This will include all the things you shouldn’t be doing as you search for a job, like playing video games, watching television, spending time on social media, surfing the web mindlessly or whatever else you may like to do but shouldn’t.

Employ personal kanban

This unique form of visualizing and processing your work was inspired by a Japanese technique that was created by Toyota in the 1940s. It makes sure you don’t tackle too many things at once. Here’s how it works: Create a white board or bulletin board with three columns “To do,” “In progress,” “Done.” Decide what tasks you need to work on and post them on cards or sticky notes in the first column. Move no more than three of these to the “In progress” column and concentrate solely on them. When complete, move them to the third column. This process helps you visualize what needs to be done and concentrate on the one, two or three tasks you want to work on at any particular moment.

Break a task down

If you’re doing something that seems overwhelming, break it into smaller steps. Make a list, and as you do each of them, you’ll accomplish the larger task.

Tackle the things you don’t want to do first

Maybe you dread making cold calls to hiring managers at the companies you’ve included on your list of potential employers. You decided to call 10 a day, so do that first.

Try doing just one thing

Multitasking is overrated and doesn’t make for efficiency. Concentrate on a single task and put your full attention to it.

Perform a one-minute or two-minute task

Some people like to do a one-minute task, while others a two-minute task. Either way, the point is to just do something quickly. And if it doesn’t work in a minute or two, figure out how to do it differently or ask someone for help.

Refuse to be distracted

Resist the urge to check your personal email, texts and especially social media feeds. These things can be incredibly distracting and take time away from your more important job search.

Handle email efficiently

Read it, respond to it and/or add anything that needs to be taken care of to your to-do list. If you need the info for reference, file the email away.

Get seven or eight hours of sleep every night

Go to bed early and get up early, so you will be ready to tackle the day.

Take breaks

Do something you like to do, like take a walk, have a snack or make a quick call to a friend. These activities will revitalize you and help you be more productive.

Don’t break the chain

Do like Jerry Seinfeld did and keep a paper calendar. Each day you accomplish what you set out to do put a big X through the day. Don’t cheat, and don’t break the chain.

Create a vision poster

Take a piece of poster board and cut out pictures from magazines or print them out from online websites. Pictures of a house you might be able to buy if you get a job, the beach vacation you might be able to take, a picture of your significant other or your children. Anything to inspire you. Put this in a place where you will see it every day as an inspiration and a reminder of what can happen if you reach your goals.

Learn how to say no

Don’t overcommit yourself to socializing with friends or doing everything they might want you to do. “No” is a very effective word, and will help you stay on track with the things you really need to do.

We’ve listed a few of the things you can do to make sure you accomplish what you need to in order to conduct an effective job search.

Maybe you have some others that you’d like to share with our readers. We would love to hear from you.


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